The jobs of both a music engineer and a sound technician, are both seemingly the same, yet drastically different at the same time. Though they both boil down to a general career path, the difference of perusing one over the other could make a drastic difference in your future opportunities. Knowing the benefits of each before making a set decision on your education, will help you on your path to the long-term career you are aiming for.
Music Engineer vs. Sound Technician
1. Music Engineer
There are many perks of choosing to become a music engineer vs. becoming a sound technician; for someone looking to spend less time in college, there are also downfalls to perusing music engineering rather than sound technician.
- In order to become a music engineer, you will typically need a degree, such as, a bachelor’s in music production and engineering. While a degree is not technically required, if you wish to enter the industry higher up, a degree is a must.
- One of the primary differences in becoming a music engineer vs a sound technician, is that you spend more time behind the scenes actually producing or finalizing productions rather than what many people would consider the grunt work, such as, setting up microphones and equipment.
- The salary for a music engineer is typically greater than that of a sound technician, depending on education and experience.
- Sound engineers are typically responsible for many tasks and must be able to complete certain tasks, such as, working as part of a production team and making quick repairs during production malfunctions.
2. Sound Technician
If spending a great deal of time and money on education are less important, becoming a sound technician may be a better choice for you. With the proper work ethic and dedication, a sound technician can hope to move up to music engineer in the future, given they have honed in their skills and remained dedicated.
- Sound technicians typically start out at the bottom and can create the career of their dreams simply by working from the ground up or attending a technical college for a short time.
- Sound technicians spend less time behind the scenes and more time setting up, repairing, or moving sound equipment and gear around sets or studios.
- As a sound technician, you need a clear understanding of how all of the equipment functions.
- Sound technicians need a passion and love for what they are doing; the hours can be long, late, and nothing like a traditional 9-5 job.
Is One Better Than the Other?
Choosing one over the other is more of a personal decision; Sound technicians and music engineers have a great deal in common.
The decision must come down to future goals, dedication and where you want to start out at. It should also be based on how much experience you already have.
If you are already employed in the sound or music industry and want to make a quick move up the latter, decide if you want to make that move on a degree or real life experience. Both careers take dedication and time, as well as a love for music!